Former State Senator Andy Wells, R-Catawba, who lost a primary challenge to Lt. Gov. to Mark Robinson, became the highest-profile N.C. Republican to criticize Robinson for his comments calling school library books and curriculum that discuss alternative lifestyles including homosexuality and transgenderism, “inappropriate” and “filth.”

Andy Wells, N.C. Board of Transportation

“I opened the newspaper: Standing in the pulpit in a Baptist Church Mark Robinson called gays ‘filth,’ Wells posted on his former campaign website.

Wells is a social conservative who supported the House Bill 2 in 2016, which required people to use the bathroom of the biological sex listed on their birth certificate, rather than their gender identity. He also backed North Carolina’s one man/one woman marriage constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 1, in 2012.

Wells is a real estate developer who currently serves on the State Board of Transportation. Previously, he served in the state House in the 96th District from 2013 to 2015, and in the state Senate from the 42nd district from 2015 to 2020.

In 2020, Wells ran for lieutenant governor of North Carolina. He placed second in the March primary election, losing to eventual general election winner Mark Robinson. In June 2020, Wells resigned his Senate seat to make himself “available for some other projects.”

“People are tired of hateful politics. We want better. How do we right the ship? Republican and Democrats don’t need to see eye to eye…but they do need to disagree with a bit of humility and kindness. Unfortunately, that’s where Lt. Governor Robinson came up short,” Wells wrote.

Former Congressman Mark Walker, currently a candidate in North Carolina’s Republican Senate primary, supported Robinson’s position on his own social media accounts this week.

Robinson’s unapologetic approach has some analysts speculating that it might hurt him in another statewide campaign.  He won the lieutenant governor race in 2020 by 51.6% against Democrat Yvonne Lewis Holley. Known for energizing the base of the N.C. Republican Party with powerful speeches, Robinson is scheduled to speak in Asheville this weekend, a liberal hotbed in western N.C., during dinner event with Congressman Madison Cawthorn, R-NC, and the Buncombe County Republican Party.